Best Beard Brush 2017: Review of The Top Brands
Finding a beard brush should be pretty easy task right? I mean at the end of the day we are just brushing our beard to make it look epic as usual.
Unfortunately though with the recent trend in men growing beards (and yeards), there have been a lot of low end cheap companies flooding the market trying to capitalize on the trend.
So how do you decipher one brush from another when trying to pick out the best one possible for your beard? Check in with the bearded experts over here at Tools of Men of course!
We have spent countless hours researching everything beard related, from exhaustively determining what the best beard oil (and beard balm) truly are, along with informing beardsmen everywhere how to make their own beard oil for just a fraction of the price you would pay through a beard vendor.
Therefore we are hoping we would do a great service for the bearded community and cover beard brushes as extensively!
While we will deep dive into the review in a minute, here is a table of the beard brushes that we will be covering:
Comparing The Best Beard Brushes On The Market
|Title||Beard Brush by ZilberHaar||CanYouHandleBar’s Beard Oil Brush with Travel Case||Beard Brush for the Modern Gentleman by Liberty Premium Grooming Co.||Bass Brushes Brush Classic Men’s Club Style||The Beardman Beard & Hair Brush|
|Product Detail Page||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|
|Dimensions||6.1 x 1 x 1.2 inches||2.8 x 2.8 x 1.2 inches||8.5 x 2 x 0.5 inches||7 x 2.5 x 1.7 inches||4 x 2 x 2 inches|
|Fiber Type||Boar||Horsehair||Boar||Boars Hair + Synthetic?||Boar + Synthetic?|
A quality beard brush can make your beard go from a tangled mess to an epic mane. Here are just a few things you need to be on the look out for when deciding on the best beard brush for you:
Understanding The Role of The Beard Brush In Attaining Proper And Careful Beard Maintenance
No matter the quality of the brush that you pick up, there are still key things to keep in mind when maintaining a healthy beard. First and foremost, the type of beard product that you use within your beard is critical.
If you are experiencing itchiness or general irritability while growing your beard, this is due in large part of your skin drying out due to your beard literally sucking up all the sebum oil from your sebaceous glands.
Therefore many beardsmen use a products such as beard oils and beard balms, and to a lesser extent, beard butters. These products contain carrier oils, that do a terrific job in providing all the moisture and nourishment is lacking.
You have likely been using or have used carrier oils in the past since they are incredibly common in all natural beauty products such as shampoos, high quality shaving creams and soaps, and even lotions as well.
Carrier oils are derived from nuts and seeds such as jojoba (being the most common of all carrier oils), argan, grapeseed, and sweet almond to name a few.
Therefore if you are just simply using a brush with no complimentary products such as a high quality beard oil or balm, we strongly recommend that you add one of these products to your beard maintenance collection.
Even the best beard brushes will only perform subpar in trying to both make your beard look great while also feel great as well.
Looking At The Different Fibers That Make Up Beard Brushes
Beard brushes just like beard combs and even shaving brushes, come in all different types of fibers. However, generally speaking the most popular beard brush fibers are going to be the following:
- boars hair
Examining each one of the fibers will yield some pretty unique results.
The defacto standard for beard brushes is without a doubt will be those comprised of boars hair. Boars hair prevalence is so wide spread and popular with beardsmen everywhere due to its complementary features to both your beard and beard related products.
One of the unique and advantageous properties of boars hair is its ability to naturally retain oils when the bristles come in contact with them. This natural retention is key to ensuring that that with every stroke of the beard brush, you will get an even coating of oils throughout your beard. This will ensure that your skin and the entire shaft of your beard follicle, both appear healthy and feel incredibly smooth. This will ultimately help to reduce the risk of beardruff and beard itch.
As we eluded for a moment in the previous section, given the tremendous benefits of carrier oils, a brush bristle that can evenly coat your beard will oils, such as one made with boars hair, will always be preferred by fellow beardsmen.
Horsehair, on the other hand, is a bristle type that is starting to make its way back in to men’s (and women’s) beauty products. Back around World War I there was an anthrax scare which greatly reduced the use of horsehair in all sorts of products, including shave brushes, therefore completely irradiating this great fiber from the medicine cabinet.
However since then, we are seeing beard brushes comprised of horsehair starting to take hold.
Horsehair, like boars hair will hold quite a bit of oil when brushed through the beard therefore making for a great coverage of oils along your beard follicles.
But there’s a catch. Horsehair typically is not as rigid as boars hair, therefore making this fiber a bit better suited for men with thinner and shorter beards.
The last bristle type that beardsmen may rely upon will be synthetic brushes. Typically made from a plastic or wooden spokes with plastic nubbed ends, synthetic brushes will cater to the animal conscious beardsmen.
With all the terrific advantages given to both boars and horsehair brushes, synthetic brushes have really struggled to find their way within this corner of the market.
With the key advantage of re-distribution of oils within your beard that you experience with animal hair based brushes, synthetic brushes just simply can’t perform nearly as well. Therefore given this current shortcoming, we have not reviewed any synthetic brushes as part of this review guide.
Just to note:
Whether the bristle is made from boars hair, horse hair, or synthetic, one thing to be mindful of when selecting a brush is the cut of the actual bristles. Optimally you don’t want to have a brush has bristles all at the same length.
The purpose of the offset bristle length is to ensure that with each stroke of the brush every hair is being groomed all the way down to your skin. This is key to further ensure even distribution of oils within your beard.
In addition to the bristle type of the brush, you will want to make sure that you do clean out your brush on a regular basis to ensure long term performance and sanitary reasons.
A good rule of thumb is to simply clean out your brush about once every week or two. This will help reduce the occurrence of tangles with your beard that can lead to breakage and general snagging when using a brush.
A Quality Brush Doesn’t Mean You Can Brush Regularly
No matter the quality of the brush that you use on your beard, whether its a high end boars hair bristle brush or something that was picked up from the corner drug store, its important to keep this simple rule in mind:
Don’t brush your beard more than a few times a day.
Over brushing of your beard will lead to a lot of unnecessary stress on the root of the follicle, of which may cause follicle breakage and of ultimately having the hair completely pulled out as well.
Typically, you would want to brush your beard before you head out the door (assuming you have already applied a beard product to it). The second time you may want to brush your beard is in the evening if required for a special occasion.
Breaking Down The Difference Between a Comb Vs a Brush
When it comes to comparing a comb and a brush, they both are their own unique tools that solve a specific set of challenges.
Typically speaking, a beard comb is going to be optimized for styling your beard. There are a plethora of different types of beard combs available on the market (as we have reviewed extensively here), however, there are a few things to keep in mind if you do plan on picking one up.
Here at Tools of Men, we are huge fans of the Kent 3 pack beard comb. Kent combs are sawcut, hand polished, and are incredibly sturdy. These combs don’t have the pesky micro jagged edges along each tooth like your typical cheap stamped molded combs.
Being that combs are for styling purposes, they pair great with beard balms and waxes as the introduction of beeswax within those products will help keep your beard in order throughout the day.
Lastly, beard combs can also be a good way to train your beard to grow in a uniform direction. Therefore if you might be having your mustache hairs curl up into your mouth while you are eating, or just simply throughout the day, a miniature mustache comb will help train those hairs to go to the sides and away from your mouth.
Opposite of beard combs, beard brushes are really aren’t ever intended for styling purposes. Granted, a beard brush can make your beard of course look great, but its important to touch on this key difference.
When you use a beard brush, its going to give you a much fuller appearance than that of a comb. This appearance of a fuller beard happens due to the varying lengths of the bristles and helping lift up each hair from your face (conversely a comb may matte down your beard a bit more).
Secondly, beard brushes just simply don’t offer nearly as much control as a comb, therefore crippling their styling ability just a bit.
While a comb does help with training your beard follicles, a brush is going to deliver at a much higher performance when compared to a comb on training your beard follicles properly.
So which one should you use?
Largely its going to boil down to a personal preference. For some beardsmen, they believe that a brush may be better if you are in the beginning stages of growing a beard (less than a couple of months) as you can use it to train your beard follicles to grow into the proper direction and give you a bit more fuller of a look.
Of course selection between a comb or beard is not any sort of rule that is written in stone, so simply you will want to decide which one will work out best for you.
A Look At The Most Popular Beard Brushes On The Market
Here at Tools of Men we LOVE data. Therefore when we can try to use it to answer some of the toughest grooming questions, so we went ahead brushed off (pun intended!) our rusty programming skills and got to work.
While this review is only going over 4 unique beard brushes, we wanted to make sure we could at least get an idea of what some of the more popular brushes are on the market and how they stack up to the competition.
Therefore we created this graph to help show what the beard brush landscape looks like as of today (data current as of April 2016):
So we went to Amazon and took a look at all the brushes that we could find that met our set of requirements. Those requirements were as follows:
- Must contain at least 30 reviews
- Classified as a “beard brush”
Now we will be the first to admit that Amazon reviews are perfect. There are indeed companies that do try to game the system by buying positive reviews for themselves while also paying for negative reviews for their competitors.
This is why we set the bar to be at least 30 reviews on any particular item. Therefore when looking at the chart above, those with a larger circle equates to more reviews. Therefore it could be inferred that brushes with larger circles may be more trustworthy given their higher review count.
Secondly, we only looked at products that identified themselves as “beard brushes”, therefore this would filter out brushes that are marketed towards a female audience and ultimately used for a very different purpose.
You may be asking yourself, why Amazon?
Sure we could go out and scrape data from each and every single brush manufacturers site, but that would be tedious and not as comprehensive when compared to the largest online retailer. Our hesitation on going out to every beard brush manufacturers to fetch data was also for a few reasons:
- Negative reviews may be censored by the company
- Not nearly as high of a product population
- Shipping and Handling charges can vary wildly from one company to the next thus inflating the price of the product significantly
- Ratings are not standardized (i.e. 1 – 5, 1 – 100, A B C D, etc.)
How The Reviews Were Determined to Select The Best Beard Brush?
Here we go in and compare 4 very different types of brushes to see which one will deliver the highest performance for your beard. Each beard brush was determined by the following conditions:
- General Fit In Hand – Every hand is of course different, however, what we are looking for here is if the product seems cumbersome or hard to brush in some tight areas (specifically under your nose).
- Brushing Performance – For performance we are looking at how your beard will look once done brushing it a few times and how the oil distribution appears after having it brushed through.
- Peer Reviews – While not weighted as heavily as the other categories, we look at what others think about it around the web. From both a quantitative and a qualitative perspective.
- Value & Bristle Quality – Sure every brush is different, but are you really getting what you paid for. Will this be a brush where the bristles are falling out after a week of use or is it something that will last you for years to come?
Beard Brush by ZilberHaar
There are many reasons why this is one of the best beard brushes on the market.
First and foremost, the bristles on this brush appear to be made from genuine boars hair. As we have covered on many of the other beard brush reviews, manufacturers tend to skimp out on this fiber and offer inferior alternatives.
As we covered previously, by and far the largest advantage to this fiber will be its uncanny ability to evenly spread out all the beard oil or balm along the beard follicle for maximum performance.
Sitting at about 5/8″ in length, the fibers on this brush should be able to work for any man that has a beard that has been growing for about one month, to those men who have even a full yeard.
While the handle may seem a bit on the smaller size, especially when compared to other beard brushes on the market, many expert beardsmen alike loved the fact that they could easily store it in their car, dopp kit, or even leather messenger bag, for midday cleanup.
With the finely crafted wooden handle, you will have full control over styling of your beard as it gets longer as well.
Unlike many of the more popular beard brushes that are made in China, this brush by ZilberHaar has been manufactured in Germany.
To further put your mind at ease on the quality of this product, it comes with a lifetime guarantee. If you don’t like it at any point, or simply the bristles have started to fall out, you can get a 100% full refund. What’s not to lose?!
CanYouHandleBar’s Beard Oil Brush with Travel Case
We were excited to definitely review this brush given horsehairs recent uptick in popularity especially in the mens grooming realm. This compact little brush is an ok brush for when you are in a quick pinch and are looking to clean up your beard. Given the size of this brush compared to the others reviewed, it was substantially smaller.
However, there’s a catch:
While we were in love with this same company’s beard oil that we had recently reviewed, unfortunately this brush just simply misses the boat.
As we described at the top of this article, typically a horsehair bristle brush will do a great job in distributing the oils pretty well within ones beard, hence our excitement in reviewing this brush. However this brush by CanYouHandlebar was promoted as having “soft” horsehair, which isn’t a good thing, especially if you are growing a really thick or very long beard. You see, given that the bristles are so soft, they just have a very difficult time in getting to the root of your beard follicles.
As any expert beardsmen would know, this spells disaster for several reasons. When applying beard oil or balm regularly, you absolutely need a brush that will help make the oils travel to the surface of your skin. Proper coverage of oil on to your skin will help prevent the occurrence of beardruff and just general dryness and irritation when growing a beard.
This brush may be best suited for men with a shorter and thinner beard.
Peer review wise this brush wasn’t too bad with a general consensus of fairly good across other sites, however, it was still not rated among the best beard brushes relative to competing products in this space.
But look, not all was lost:
The biggest bonus point of this brush is the fact that it comes with a nice little tin to keep your brush stored in. As we touched in the beginning of this brush’s review, this is a great brush for travel purposes and for the infrequent touchups that you need to do when on the go. Therefore if you are going on a weekend trip or a shorter trip overseas, you can tuck this brush away and use it specifically for those occasions.
In the end we really wanted to like this horsehair beard brush and gave it a fair shot, however, we just can’t recommend it except for the rare occasion of travel. Therefore we recommend that you check out some of the other brushes reviewed as they simply just deliver a bit better of performance.
Beard Brush for the Modern Gentleman by Liberty Premium Grooming Co.
The biggest part of this brush, and why you should pick any brush, is due to the bristle quality and construction. Unlike other other brush that we reviewed, this brush seemed to have 100% boars hair bristles throughout. Not only were we suspect given the other brush, Liberty Grooming backs up this claim by stating that their brush is indeed “100% Boar Bristle”.
As far as the performance of the brush, it does a terrific job in getting every single beard follicle down to the skin. This is a critical component in making sure your beard product gets to the skin beneath your beard. In addition to being able to get down to the skin, this brush does a great job in evenly distributing oils among your beard follicles rather well whether you have a very short beard or even a yeard.
The one thing to be mindful of when purchasing this brush is the actual size. While the horsehair brush that we reviewed above was rather small, this brush on the other hand is rather large. While this might not be a bad thing for the seasoned beardsmen, men who have only been growing their beard for only a month or two might be a bit intimidated by the size of this brush initially.
However it would be a mistake to stray away from this brush simply due to the size. Given its excellent construction its a great brush for any beardsmen to effectively grow into and therefore shouldn’t be overlooked given its size. Secondly, given its size and that it has boars hair bristles, some men may experience discomfort given the stiffness of the bristles. It’s important to remember that this is going to hold true for just about any boars hair bristle brush given the natural tendencies of these bristles . Remember, the stiffness of boars hair will help train your beard to grow in the proper direction.
Now with the size of this brush being a bit larger, this might be a problem for the beardsman that is always on the go. But luckily this was compensated by their complementary comb that is actually included with the purchase of the brush!
While this review is about brushes specifically, we do want to of course mention that Liberty Grooming Co does actually include a comb which makes quick touchups a breeze and an awesome extra touch.
The peer reviews for this particular brush were through the roof! It’s important to note that this brush was one of highest rated beard brushes online.
As far as gripes about this particular brush there were only two minor problems that we found. First off its made in China. While some people don’t hold much weight on this, we of course are based in the USA and therefore support products that are made by fellow Americans.
Secondly, this was the most expensive brush reviewed. However we feel that these two shortcomings of both country of origin and price can indeed be overlooked given the high performance output of this brush that will last you for a long time.
Editors note: Since we originally published this review, this specific beard brush has been often out of stock and experienced a significant price increase. We recommend checking out alternatives on the market.
Bass Brushes Brush Classic Men’s Club Style
When we reviewed the Bass brush, we found it to be just average as best. Shaped in more of a classic paddle brush form, this brush seemed to make sense for beardsmen that have been sporting a beard for quite some time.
Therefore its not nearly as versatile as some of the other brushes reviews.
Performance wise however, we found that at first he brush was considerably underwhelming. Many of the bristles did indeed fall out of the brush making us suspect of the quality (more on that in a minute).
However, after the initial shedding of the bristles, this brush did perform ok. Given the performance of this brush, there are just simply better alternatives out there.
The one thing that we found highly disappointing about this brush is the actual composition of the bristles may not be indeed be of 100% boars hair. Instead we, and many other folks who have tried this brush, found that the bristle composition is likely going to be mostly nylon with some added boars hair within the mix.
When applying beard oil, this brush just simply didn’t do a good job trapping in the oils to the bristles to help ensure an even spread (likely given that many of the bristles are nylon).
Besides the actual composition of the brush, we found that it was also made in China, which may lead to some of the low quality standards.
Performance and country of manufacture aside, this brush was rated alright online and is priced relatively competitively. At the time of this review, the Bass brush was priced at $12 online.
The Beardman Beard & Hair Brush
Needless to say, when reviewing this product we were pretty darn excited. This brush had a staggering 4.5 out of 5 rating on Amazon with over 400 reviews. I mean it had to be good right?
Unfortunately for this boars hair bristle brush, a lot was left to be desired.
First and foremost the worse thing about this brush was the composition of the bristles. When examining it closely, we were a bit apprehensive whether or not this was truly indeed boars hair bristles, but it appeared actually that there were also plastic filaments that were also added into the production of this brush.
As far as the performance of the brush, amazingly it wasn’t too bad in making the beard look a bit better. However, the bristles were a bit firmer than expected given that this was advertised as a “soft” boars hair bristle brush.
In addition to the mediocre brush bristle, as also experienced by several other beardsmen across other sites as well, this brush tends to actually shed its bristles after the first few uses which to us showed not exactly the best care and attention to construction.
In regards to the actual packaging of this brush, we will say that it is nice that the brush does in fact include a canvas bag as a nice touch. While the use of the bag is likely going to be limited past the initial opening of the box, its at least a nice added touch that many beard brush manufacturers tend to skip on.
Our overall thoughts on this beard brush is that beardsmen should check out the alternatives that do exist within the marketplace. Given the super low price point of $11 (at time of publication in April 2016) its a great entry level beard brush for the beardsmen that is on a really strict budget, however if you are willing to spend a few extra bucks there are much better brushes to choose from.